TPHC Report Reveals Noncompliant PVC Packaging
On June 29, 2012, the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPHC) published a report on the compliance of PVC packaging from “dollar” and discount retail chain stores with the Packaging Legislation.
Restricted Materials in PVC packaging
• A total of 61 samples were purchased from six discount chains plus the “dollar bins” at two major retailers
• Stores were selected for multi-state presence
• Stores were located in seven member states
• Packaging materials were screened for heavy metals by hand-held XRF
• A list of failed samples was sent to all member states
• Member states purchased additional samples of failed products for another round of XRF testing
• The 61 purchased samples originated from the following countries:
China – 54 samples
Pakistan – 2 samples
Thailand – 1
Brazil – 1
Korea – 1
Unknown – 2
• The following types of products were analyzed:
Children’s toys & games – 18 samples
Pet supplies – 13 samples
Personal care/cosmetics – 12 samples
Hardware – 5 samples
Household items – 4 samples
Findings of the TPCH report
• 24 packages (39%) failed XRF testing for Cadmium; 1 also failed for lead
• Twenty two of the failed samples originated in China, 1 from Pakistan and 1 Unknown
• Cadmium Range: 177-669 ppm
• Lead Range: 361 ppm
• Failures were not confined to one geographic region, one discount chain, or one product sector.
• The same product would fail across multiple locations
Depending upon whom the states held responsible, 17 unique manufacturers, distributors, and retailers were notified of the non-compliant packages. Retail stores took corrective action by pulling the product from the shelf, returned product/packaging to the supplier, implemented new QA procedures for the suppliers, or purchased an XRF unit for internal testing.
The 2012 study focused on flexible PVC packaging from a specific retail sector comprising of dollar/discount stores, however across a wider spectrum of retail outlets with the inclusion of data from 2007 and 2009, a downward trend is seen in the number of failed samples, 39% in 2012 from 52% in 2009 and 61% in 2007 for all flexible PVC packaging samples. The TPCH study concluded that that “compliance with state toxics in packaging laws continues to be problematic for packaging made
from imported, flexible PVC.”
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